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    UK Liberal Democrats Create Commission on Privacy

    A United Kingdom political party, the Liberal Democrats, has announced the creation of a commission on Privacy. The Liberal Dems are the third-largest political party in the UK Parliament (the two large ones are Labour and the Conservatives). From the press release:

    Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg today announced the membership of his party’s new Commission on Privacy, which will examine the use, abuse and retention of private data, and propose new safeguards to protect the rights of individuals.

    The Commission’s members are:

    • David Heath MP (Chair) – Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House
    • Simon Davies – Privacy International; Fellow at LSE
    • Shami Chakrabarti – Director of Liberty
    • Baroness Sue Miller – Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson in the House of Lords
    • Henry Porter – Journalist on The Observer
    • Prof. Ross Anderson – Professor of Security Engineering, University of Cambridge
    • Richard Rampton QC – Barrister at law, specialising in libel
    • Richard Allan – Former MP; Head of Government Affairs, Cisco Systems

    Nick Clegg said: “With Britain now among the most watched upon countries in Europe, there has never been a more vital time for proper scrutiny and protection of privacy.

    “Under this increasingly authoritarian Government, a combination of intrusion and incompetence has resulted in the steady erosion of our right to privacy and the protection of our personal data.

    “This is an exceptionally well-qualified team bringing together experts from a wide range of fields. I am confident that they will work to provide real solutions to check the growing threat to our privacy.”

    David Heath said: “I am looking forward to working with a team of people who lead the country in these issues, and I hope we will produce a report which is hard-hitting but practical and shows the way forward.

    “British people have never been subject to so much intrusion and prying, and whatever the merits of collecting information, it must be used responsibly, properly and securely. That is clearly not the case at present.”

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